Ed.: 051718 – Words: 848 – Audio: N/A
Don’t laugh. Think about this for a moment.
The pretext is so simple. There’s no argument in that the original armistice simply was for a cease-fire… it did not end the war. Wherever the meeting location is outside of North Korea, we just have a couple of guys wearing earpieces (or maybe Seal Team Six guys so there could be a movie) simply grab Kim as a prisoner-of-war.. and it’s perfectly legal! In fact, it might be better that it appears that South Korea does the grab. But let’s assume we do it. What might happen?
First off, what do we hold him for?
Pretty much pick one… the best charge that fits without any argument is simply a POW in the Korean War. Other options.. aiding and abetting Iran in the development of a nuclear program violating UN sanctions. Then there’s suspicion and/or complicity in the death of his brother, Kim Jong-nam, in Malaysia (remember the poison girls?). I suppose we might convince The Hague to pop out a warrant for his arrest for crimes against humanity within his own country. There’s always conspiracy and complicity in covertly kidnapping Japanese citizens from Japanese soil. Likely there’s a few more… but that’s enough for starters.
Where do we hold him?
Easy.. Gitmo because he’s a POW and terrorist in an undeclared war… and it helps to reduce the idea that he’s being held directly on U.S. soil and have to put up with some pissy state governor.
What about public opinion; we have, after all, just grabbed a foreign leader.
We grabbed Noriega, too; so what. Ok.. internationally and at the UN there will likely be some screams about betraying traditional diplomatic agreements, violating diplomatic immunity, not adhering to the spirit of international negotiations, illegal apprehension and detention of a foreign leader, Geneva Convention stuff. Our allies will object to the violation of the spirit of international diplomacy and the audacity of the act itself being counter to political civility.
What about the Chinese and/or the Russians?
Putin will scream with the rest of them but doesn’t really care (and will likely never visit the U.S. or leave Russia ever again). The Chinese will be pissed, jump up and down diplomatically.. but in the end has no inclination of going to war with the U.S. given we are both so economically joined at the hip… as long as we make no effort to take over North Korea given the Chinese apprehension to share a border with a democratic nation.
What about domestic public opinion?
The Dems will raise a stink.. the GOP reflecting the far right will applaud the action. I rather think the general public would not object to the action in spite of all the diplomatic violations.
And what will Kim’s second-in-command do? What orders did Kim leave him/her, and will he/she carry them out?
This could be a bit of an unknown. It’s very likely if there are nukes poised somewhere to strike outside North Korea, Kim’s second will likely not have push-button control to launch. But.. that person could have some order to engage the military against the South. The presumption would be that part of the plan to grab Kim should also include placing the military on alert for a potential strike against installations in the North. But… if the State Department were up to snuff… the alternative would be for a diplomatic engagement with those in-charge in the North to try and contain any desire to strike back. Someone up there just might be recognizing Kim is really gone… and opportunity is knocking.
I honestly think this would work given the current political mood of the nation. I also honestly think that Trump is the only guy who could get away with it because he is simply so unpredictable and people just plain do not care. Trump also has absolutely no concern for public opinion, international opinion, and his own legacy in history.
Now………. Do I think we should do this.. much less give the idea more than a passing thought (or laugh)?
There is a mild seductiveness to the entire idea, I’ll admit. Even if we end up sending Kim back home after a year… his own people, his military, might just feel empowered after a year to take care of him themselves upon his “triumphant” return. Conceptually the entire affair could be bloodless (except maybe if he returns).
Hmmm…. This might be one of those situations.. where we know we can but maybe we shouldn’t. I still contend this entire conflict isn’t about nukes at all. Kim wants international respect.. and he wants the North and South united, under him, of course. We are way too busy focusing on nukes that he may or may not have, that could may or may not be delivered intercontinentally. While I will agree that he likely has a nuke or two he could lob short range to a target… he just does not have a delivery or guidance system to prove effective on re-entry from space. I’m speculating, but it’s a good speculation.
So, I toss this onto my readers. Any thoughts?